Tag Archives: michelle grattan

Grattan / Expelling Martin Ferguson would be a bad look for Labor

Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra BILL Shorten should resist the witch-hunt against former ALP minister Martin Ferguson over his attacks on NSW Labor’s anti-privatisation campaign. The idea that the Labor Party should expel Ferguson – which is now to be considered – is dumb. Many Labor members, and particularly union members, are deeply angry with […]

Grattan / A confused start to government’s tax conversation

Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra IN launching its national “conversation” about tax reform, the Abbott government is caught between the policy imperative of “leading” and the political requirement of “listening”. A further complication is that Prime Minister Tony Abbott is seeking to wedge Bill Shorten, paving the way to blame him if no real progress […]

Tax paper shows bracket creep is stalking Australian taxpayers

Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra THE government’s long-awaited tax discussion paper says Australia has a relatively low tax burden compared to other developed countries but its system faces “challenges from a changing world”. The paper, aimed at launching a national dialogue on re-thinking the tax system, says tax reform “offers one of the biggest opportunities” […]

Grattan on Friday / Howard and Baird offer lessons in the art of persuasion

Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra SATURDAY’S New South Wales election will be seen as a major test of whether a popular leader can sell the public a much-disliked economic reform policy. On the polls – and I stress that qualification – Premier Mike Baird is on track to win, with the Coalition’s position improving in […]

Grattan / If Bishop aspires to be leader, she can’t afford to make slips on economic issues

Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra Many Liberal eyes are already on Julie Bishop. And given she’s indicated that if there were to be a leadership contest she’d likely be in it, the Foreign Minister will come under increasing scrutiny in coming months. As a contender she would have the advantage of not being Malcolm Turnbull, […]

Grattan / Pre-budget battle weapons – a slogan and a slide show

Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra PLAYING the slogan game might degrade the political debate, but it worked alright for Tony Abbott – so now Bill Shorten’s launched into it ahead of the May budget. Labor has unveiled its “Mr Abbott. Don’t Pocket Our Pension” campaign, targeting the government’s plan, still not legislated, to change the […]

Grattan / Procedural fairness? That doesn’t apply to us, says Immigration department

Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra THE day that then-immigration minister Scott Morrison announced an inquiry into allegations of abuse in the Nauru detention centre, News Corp tabloids ran dramatic claims against Save the Children. The story, briefed by the government, said that the organisation was alleged to have “fabricated” stories of abuse. An “intelligence report” […]

Grattan on Friday / Double dissolution chatter undermines Abbott’s need to project stability

Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra ONE government man has an interesting theory on why Tony Abbott mightn’t mind talk of a double-dissolution election. The prime minister finds governing very hard, he says – and would love to be back on the campaign trail. The point about Abbott’s view may or may not be correct. However, […]

Grattan / Abbott struggles with budget lines, telling the 'structural reform enthusiasts' this is not their year

Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra TONY Abbott is making a particular hash of his messaging this week. The prime minister – and some other senior ministers too (think Treasurer Joe Hockey) – often throws out lines seemingly without much thought about how they can come back to give a nasty bite. At Tuesday’s joint partyroom […]

Pyne will intensify lobbying over higher education amid PUP turmoil

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra The Senate numbers have been thrown into new confusion and Clive Palmer’s power much weakened with the defection of the Palmer United Party’s Senate leader, Glenn Lazarus. Announcing he would become an independent, Lazarus declared: “I have a different view of team work”. Later he suggested he had been […]

Grattan on Friday / Abbott government suffers self-inflicted pain in an untidy week

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra THE Abbott government has followed one step forward by a couple back. After an improved performance became the media story of last week, it’s been slipping and sliding all over the place. Tony Abbott had another bad word day. Treasurer Joe Hockey sat awkwardly aboard a hobby horse. Industry […]

Grattan / In Conversation with Scott Morrison: From confrontation to a search for consensus

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra IN racing parlance, Scott Morrison is sitting one out and one back, very well placed politically for both the short and longer terms. If Tony Abbott survives, Morrison’s social services portfolio gives him plenty of scope to demonstrate policy skills and be in the public eye. If there’s a […]

Grattan / Hockey shouted down in 'conversation' about access to super for houses

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra JOE Hockey is the sort of guy who often leaps before looking too hard. This thought is particularly brought to mind by two completely different current manifestations of “Hockeyism”. One is Hockey’s thought balloon canvassing whether people should be able to access their super for buying a house, job […]

Grattan / No pressure Joe, but you are back in the spotlight

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra THE government wants the public to take several political messages out of the Intergenerational Report (IGR) Joe Hockey is releasing on Thursday. Stated crudely, these are: first, that Labor’s policy settings would have taken us to hell in a hand basket; second, that but for the pesky Senate, the […]

Grattan / Medicare co-payment: a case study in policy implosion

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra TONY Abbott was in full confessional mode after Tuesday’s formal interment of the Medicare co-payment. As a former health minister, “I should have known better than to attempt health reform without the strong co-operation and support of the medical profession”, Abbott told parliament. “I accept chastisement,” Abbott said. “But […]

Grattan / Abbott gets poll help as Bishop complicates leadership question

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra ASLiberal MPs gather for more testing days in parliament, a Fairfax/Ipsos poll showing improvement in the ratings of both the Coalition and the prime minister should help Tony Abbott fireproof himself for the moment. The two-party vote has the Coalition up three points since January – it now trails […]

Grattan on Friday / Liberals sweat over timing of next tilt against Abbott

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra CANBERRA, thanks to politics being its main industry and the politicians being non-residents, is the quintessential fishbowl. When a leadership change is contemplated, people watch keenly to see who dines out with whom. So it was duly noted when Malcolm Turnbull, Scott Morrison and Greg Hunt were together on […]